You might adore what you do for a living (which is great), or you might not enjoy a moment of it. However you feel about it though, there comes a point when you need to think about how to separate your work life from your home life. If you don’t, you can end up working far more than you really need to (and usually for free), and your family will miss out. Here are some useful tips to keep your two lives as separate as possible.
The Social Media Crossover
If you, like many millions of other people in the world, have a social media profile on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, or on any of the other social media networks, it’s best to keep it for personal use only. Mixing your business and personal life on one profile can get confusing, awkward, and ultimately it isn’t particularly professional. If you need a social media account for your business, then make an entirely different one that you only need to use when you’re working. That way, you can still enjoy browsing your social media platforms, but you won’t be constantly reminded about work – that’s a good way to literally and figuratively keep things separate from one another.
Make A Plan
If you find that you need to plan your entire workday out to ensure that you get everything done, then why not do the same with your personal life? Make sure there is enough time in your day to spend time with your family, to relax, to do something you want to do rather than something you have to do. Following a daily schedule is a good habit to get into, so there is no reason why this one thing shouldn’t be present in both your work and personal lives. Just make sure that the two lists are completely separate, and different – otherwise, your separation won’t go according to plan at all.
One of the biggest reasons that your work life will interfere with your home life, and vice versa, is that there are no boundaries. One will take precedence over the other, to the detriment of the one that is shut out and left behind. Having a specific start and stop times will help to separate the two halves of your life, and could even make things more productive as you know you only have a limited amount of time to get everything done. Of course, there will be times when you have to work for longer, but if these times become the exception rather than the norm, you can still have a good work-life balance. This can be particularly hard to do if you work from home, but having a separate room in your home, an office in your yard, or even using outside construction office trailers so that you can shut the door and leave it all behind come home time. Once you have shut the door, don’t be tempted to go back in. If you had left a physical office at a different location, you wouldn’t suddenly go back to it just to finish something off because you have a spare five minutes, would you? So don’t do it just because the commute doesn’t exist.
If you find that you simply can’t mentally disconnect from your work even when you’re at home, then meditation might be a good way to help you. You can find plenty of apps that you can download and then use to create the perfect quiet, calming space for you to get your head where it needs to be. You only need around 10 minutes a day to become a more relaxed, less worried individual who can completely separate their working life from their home life, and make each one better as a result.
One of the main reasons why it is so difficult to really leave work at work is today’s modern technology. It means that we are constantly in touch with everyone, and although that certainly has its benefits, it has many drawbacks too. One of these drawbacks is that it is super easy to check your work emails or listen to voicemails left by colleagues asking you to help them out or complete some task. By completely disconnecting when you get home, you don’t need to even think about these things. Leave your phone in your work bag and only look at it in the morning (make sure you charge it first, though). When you’re with the ones you love, why do you need to be seeing what other people are doing on social media or anywhere else? Be completely at home, or completely at work; doing both just won’t work, at least not in the long term.
No More Push Notifications
If you really can’t turn your cell phone off completely for any reason, then at least turn off your push notifications. That way, you won’t constantly be distracted by new information and messages, and you’ll only be able to see what’s happening elsewhere when you deliberately pick up the smartphone and download emails or listen to voicemails or read status updates. Without push notifications, you will be much freer to enjoy your time away from the office without being bombarded by people trying to contact you.
Get A VA
If you truly cannot stop working even when you know you must (perhaps you have just started a new business, and there is no one who can help you, and you don’t want to miss out on finding new clients), then in order not to burn yourself out, and keep your relationship with your friends and family healthy, you could hire a virtual assistant. A virtual assistant (VA) is someone who can take your calls, answer emails, schedule meetings, and do pretty much what any other assistant would be able to do except that he or she is living and working somewhere entirely separate from you. This is ideal if you do run your own business and need to take some time off because, unlike leaving an answering machine on when you’re not in the office or having an out of office message in your emails, there is a real, human being connecting with your clients. It makes a big difference to them (in a positive way) plus it means you can relax and enjoy your family time more because you know everything at work is in hand.